Growing Up with Type 1 narcolepsy: Its anthropometric and endocrine features

Virginia Ponziani, Monia Gennari, Fabio Pizza, Antonio Balsamo, Filippo Bernardi, Giuseppe Plazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Objectives: To evaluate the effect of type 1 narcolepsy (NT1) on anthropometric and endocrine features in childhood/adolescence, focusing on patterns and correlates of weight, pubertal development, and growth in treated and untreated patients. Methods: We collected anthropometric (height, weight, body mass index (BMI) z-scores), pubertal, metabolic, and endocrine data from 72 NT1 patients at diagnosis and all available premorbid anthropometric parameters of patients from their pediatric files (n = 30). New measurements at 1-y reassessment in patients undergoing different treatments were compared with baseline data. Results: We detected a high prevalence of overweight (29.2%), obesity (25%), metabolic syndrome (18.8%), and precocious puberty (16.1%), but no signs of linear growth alterations at diagnosis. According to anthropometric records, weight gain started soon after NT1 onset. At 1-y follow-up reassessment, sodium oxybate treatment was associated with a significant BMI z-score reduction (-1.29 ± 0.30, p < 0.0005) after adjusting for baseline age, sex, sleepiness, and BMI. Conclusions: NT1 onset in children/adolescents is associated with rapid weight gain up to overweight/obesity and precocious puberty without affecting growth. In our study, sodium oxybate treatment resulted in a significant weight reduction in NT1 overweight/obese patients at 1-y follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1649-1657
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Growth
  • Narcolepsy Type 1
  • Obesity
  • Precocious Puberty
  • Sodium Oxybate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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